Pasture feed on offer (FOO) and growth rate (PGR) maps for south-west Western Australia

Page last updated: Thursday, 30 April 2020 - 2:45pm

The Pastures from Space service estimates pasture feed on offer (FOO) and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) for the south-west of Western Australia each week during the growing season.

Pastures from Space uses satellite imagery and on-ground measurements over a number of sites and years to calibrate the growth rate and FOO of pastures. The PGR calculation also uses soil and weather inputs.

The Pastures from Space map website covers the south-west agricultural area of Western Australia and provide access to historical data, shire detail and detailed maps for FOO and PGR. Landgate provides Pasture from Space data to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and DPIRD generates and hosts the WA agricultural area maps.

Note that the Pastures from Space remote sensing is only of use on green vegetation. Therefore, the estimates – of pasture feed on offer (FOO) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare, and plant (pasture and crop) growth rates (PGR) as kilograms of dry matter per hectare per day – are only of value in the growing season when most of the plants are green. The relevant growing period is usually April to October.

Using the Pastures from Space map

Open the Pastures from Space map website:

  1. In the 'Find address or place' box - enter your PIC (Property Identification Code), postcode or shire to zoom to the location of interest.
  2. The 'i' icon will show the legend for both FOO and PGR pixels.
  3. The 'Layers' icon allows you to turn on layers of information. You can select either PGR or FOO or Archived images.  The top most selected category will show the latest image. Check the date of the image by expanding the menu or to select a different image.
  4. The '...' icon to the right of the layer icon allows you to select 'transparency' and use the slider to change the transparency of the image so that the base photography is more visible.

The FOO and PGR information is presented at a pixel scale of 6.25ha, which is the minimum presently available, and at the property (or farm) level. Most paddocks will be larger than 6.25ha, so you will need to select the 6.25ha pixel that best represents the paddock.

The FOO and PGR information can be used in feed budgeting calculations. The trend over time is also important to indicate if the livestock stocking density matches pasture growth. You can also calibrate yourself if there is a range in the FOO from pixel to pixel.   

The default image will be the latest FOO image with the date corresponding to the begining of the period.  For example, 15 May 2019 refers to the period starting 15 May and ending 21 May.

Access the latest Pastures from Space FOO and PGR images

About Pastures from Space

Pastures from Space is a partnership between CSIRO, DPIRD and Landgate, and started providing estimates of PGR and FOO in 2002. For more information on how the images are generated and the research supporting this project, please visit the Understanding Pastures from Space page.

To view static FOO and PGR images (PDF) for season 2019, please choose from the list on the sidebar.

* images supplied and processed by Landgate

Key FOO and PGRs for managing sheep

Go to the Seasonal 2019 webpage for more information on how the season is unfolding.

The target FOO to reach before stopping supplementary feeding for sheep is approximately 700kgs of dry matter per hectare, and for cattle is approximately 800kgs of dry matter per hectare. This assumes that sheep pastures are clover based and cattle pastures are more grass based.

The PGR needs to be greater than the rate of pasture removal by grazing animals, otherwise FOO will decrease and further reduce growth rate. See Grazing annual pastures in winter and spring for tactics in managing pasture to manipulate the quality and quantity of pasture as well as the composition, increasing animal production efficiency and achieving production targets, reducing insect populations, and ensuring pasture persistence. 

See Annual pasture quality and quantity for more information about FOO and PGR. As the growing season ends, vegetative groundcover needs to remain above 50% to protect the soil from wind erosion.

Contact information

Danny Roberts
+61 (0)8 9892 8535
Perry Dolling
+61 (0)8 9821 3261
Mandy Curnow
+61 (0)8 9892 8422

Authors

Mandy Curnow
Perry Dolling